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Historical Event

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March 18, 1928

Short Description:




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An article in the New York Times describes the new methods to turn corn fields into sugar calories - which would eventually become High Fructose Corn Syrup.





Sugar from corn fields now used in many foods


Important Text:

Such are the sugar resources of the United States that they might render the country independent of such production and exportation combinations as recently were entered into by Cuba, Czechoslovakia, German, and other sugar growing countries. This native source of supply, aside from Porto Rican and Louisiana can and Colorado beets, resides in the country's corn fields.

The production of pure crystal corn sugar on a commercial scale is an infant industry. The conversion of the grain is an intricate process. After cleaning, it is subjected to the action of warm water and sulphur dioxide to soften it and prevent fermentation. 

The solubles near the surface are thus washed off and, regained by evaporation of the steep water, are utilized as cattle feed. 

Later the grains are crushed and the germs, floating on the surface, are collected for their oil. The rest of the mixture is ground, washed and screened until the fibrous cellulose material, also used in cattle feed, has been removed. Starch and gluten remain in the water solution, from which the starch settles out on a series of shallow, slightly inclined troughs, while the gluten passes on with the overflow. 

The starch is flushed out of the troughs, pressed, and dried. When it has been highly purified, it is converted into sugar by hydrolysis, the digestive processes that take place within the human body being reproduced. The starch, suspended in the pressence of chemically pure hydrochloric acid until it has been converted into glucose, or dextrose, perhaps some maltose and dextrines. 

By means of evaporation the solid sugar is then crystallized out and cut in large slabs, which are "aged" for crude corn sugar of various grades. 

Corn sugar, being dextrose, is a different substance from what is ordinarily known as sugar, which is sucrose, whether obtained from sugar cane, sugar beets, sorghum, maple or palm. It has proved useful in medicine, especially for infant and invalid feeding. It also serves a purpose in the food industry. Last year almost 700,000,000 pounds of corn sugar were produced. 

Topics: (click image to open)

High Fructose Corn Syrup
HFCS stands for High-Fructose Corn Syrup. It is a sweetener that is derived from corn starch and widely used in processed foods and beverages. HFCS is composed of glucose and fructose, similar to table sugar (sucrose), which is also a combination of these two simple sugars. HFCS gained popularity in the food industry in the 1970s as a cheaper alternative to sugar. It became widely used in soft drinks, baked goods, condiments, and other processed foods because it is cost-effective, easy to blend, and has a long shelf life.
Big Sugar
Big Sugar is based on organizations like ILSI and The Sugar Association. They promote sugar as part of a healthy, balanced diet, but ignore many of the cons of sugar consumption.
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